Current News

Check out the latest news from around the world by the industry's movers and shakers.

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Current News

January 23, 2020
SITE Global Conference Welcomes 600 Travel Professionals to “Limitless” the Theme for This Year’s Signature Event in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Jan. 24-27

(Chicago, Illinois, USA) More than 600 Incentive Travel professionals from 42 destinations around the world will convene in Vancouver for the Society for Incentive Excellence (SITE) Global Conference at the JW Marriott Parq & the DOUGLAS Autograph Collection. 

“Inspired by our conference theme - Limitless – we’ve been dreaming up brand new ways to connect, learn, discover and, indeed, shape the future of the incentive travel industry. We’re going for a festival feel this year with multiple stages in a venue that’s light filled and inspirational and a destination that genuinely knows no bounds,” says Jenn Glynn, CIS, CITP, President SITE 2020. 

Keynote speakers at Global Conference include New York Times Bestselling author Ben Nemtin who will speak on 5 Steps to Making the Impossible Possible, and educational tracks including Designing and Innovating Incentive Travel ProgramsValuing Creativity in a Commoditized World and Event Industry Trends and Forecasts

The Crystal Awards, sponsored by IMEX Group, will also be presented during a glitzy lunch at the conference. Considered the highest honor in the incentive travel industry, these awards recognize creative, practical and truly memorable incentive programs that enhance company culture, keep employees engaged, drive business results and improve the bottom line. 

During the conference, with support of Meet in Ireland, SITE will create “The Vancouver Manifesto”, the latest edition of an ongoing interrogation of the nature, purpose and direction of incentive travel, taking the aspirations of the inaugural edition, “The Bangkok Manifesto” crowdsourced at last year’s conference in Thailand and turning them into actional items. 

“SITE Global Conference brings the whole world of incentive travel to Vancouver this week. We want to harness the wisdom of this powerful community to shape the future of our industry. Last year in Thailand we started this fascinating conversation and published the “The Bangkok Manifesto”, 10 aspirational statements about our métier. This year we want to move from aspiration to action and leave Vancouver with a tangible implementation plan for 2020.” said SITE CEO Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP.

About Incentive Travel & SITE

Incentive Travel, the “I” in MICE, is the fastest growing sector of the Business Events industry with the highest per capita spend and the widest supply chain. Accounting for about 7% of all Business Events activities, the Events Industry Council’s Global Economic Impact study (2018) estimates the incentive travel industry to be worth around $75 billion globally. The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) is the only Business Events association dedicated exclusively to the global incentive travel industry. Founded in 1973, we are a professional association of 2,500 members located in 90 countries, working in corporations, agencies, airlines, cruise companies and across the entire destination supply chain. We bring value to our members at both global and local chapter level by networking, on-line resources, education, certification and advocacy. SITE Foundation was established by SITE to support research, education and advocacy projects on behalf of the incentive travel industry. Monies raised by the SITE Foundation help us make the business case for incentive travel and highlight the transformational potential of travel experiences on individuals, enterprises and communities. The SITE Foundation is a registered charity holding a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization status.

January 21, 2020
Palais des congrès de Montréal becomes copartner of an international study on the social impact of business events

#MEET4IMPACT-led project looking to compile the best practices on the subject

Montréal—The Palais des congrès de Montréal will join forces with the Montréal not-for-profit #MEET4IMPACT in conducting a major worldwide study that will run throughout 2020. The study will round up the most promising initiatives business events can tap into to measure their social legacy and impact.

By working with #MEET4IMPACT, which is striving to change the professional events industry and shepherd organizers toward practices that are more in line with the sustainability initiatives of the United Nations, the Palais is joining a revolution focused on boosting the social value of the conferences it hosts.

This trailblazing project will help position the Palais as an expert in assessing the impact of events on the community and questioning how we can improve the value proposition of said events. Driving this exercise will be sharing the research findings with the rest of the industry, so that ultimately we will be able to maximize the positive social benefits generated by international events all over the world.

Measuring the social impact of events is appearing worldwide as an emerging business tourism trends. It is an undertaking international associations appreciate because it helps them retain members, add more appeal to their events, and facilitate accountability reporting to financial partners. As for host cities and convention centres, measuring the social impact contributes to understanding and ascertaining the real value of the events more effectively, over and above the economic benefits.

An international research project initiated in Montréal
The research project led by #MEET4IMPACT aims to create a collective knowledge bank on the positive impact of business events and the best strategies for boosting said impact. The initiatives will be culled from associations, tourism offices and convention centres from all over the planet. As copartner, the Palais des congrès de Montréal will contribute its vision and industry expertise to the process of setting the study guidelines.

The project research partners include the École des sciences de la gestion de l’Université du Québec à Montréal (ESG-UQAM), and Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization that has been designing and delivering research and training programs in Canada for 20 years.

For more information about the project, visit the website.

Quotes

“The business tourism industry is in the midst of a transformation and we are looking to improve the value proposition of events that now want to have a lasting impact on their host community. This collaboration between the Palais and #MEET4IMPACT will enable us to measure and optimize the positive impact on the host city’s ecosystem. With this research project, the Palais des congrès de Montréal is taking the reins of this paradigm shift and will inspire other industry players through best practices.”

– Robert Mercure, CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal

“This research project will generate key new knowledge for the business events industry. By making these results widely available, we aim to empower associations and destinations to develop new collaboration models and experience-based practices that will create wider value for their participants, their members and host communities.”

– Geneviève Leclerc, President and CEO of #MEET4IMPACT

About #MEET4IMPACT
#MEET4IMPACT groups together people driven by a common desire to change the world of business events by sharing the massive amount of knowledge found at these events.

About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
Recipient of the highest quality standards certification in the industry, the Palais des congrès de Montréal convention centre stands in the heart of the top host city in the Americas for international events. In 2018-2019, it generated $215 million in economic benefits along with an invaluable amount of intellectual wealth via the 353 events it hosted. A trailblazer, it operates its own events lab, CITÉ, which houses Montréal startups that are helping redefine how conferences are held. The Palais is a carbon neutral building, and also BOMA BEST certified. Its suite of sustainability initiatives, which it runs under the name Palais Boréal, includes an innovative program that shepherds event organizers and participants through the process of offsetting their GHG emissions locally. Actively immersed in the community, the Palais opens its spaces to visitors and stages art-driven experiences for the public, like the Palais Seasons, showcasing Québec creatives. A leader and visionary, the Palais is at the forefront of the Convention Industry 4.0 transformation. Visit congresmtl.com.

For information:
Renaud Martel-Théorêt
Advisor, Communications and Public Affairs
Palais des congrès de Montréal
Phone: 514 871-5897
renaud.martel-theoret@congresmtl.com

Jacques Blanchet 
Vice-president and Associate research and policy 
#MEET4IMPACT 
Phone: 514 977-9915 
jacques@meet4impact.global

January 21, 2020
Flair Airline looks to grow its fleet

Canada’s first and only independent ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC), Flair Airlines is looking to expand its fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft to offer more low fares to a market starved of competition

Edmonton, Alberta (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)—Flair Airlines is Canada’s only independent, fully operational low cost airline.  Flair is based in Edmonton, Alberta where it currently operates a fleet of Boeing 737s in an all Economy class configuration.  Serving eight cities across Canada with its seven aircraft fleet, Flair has immediate plans to expand its services both in frequency and reach.  This step is almost complete, with the remaining critical step being the fleet renewal and expansion plan.

Flair transitioned from a charter operator to a scheduled low cost airline in 2017 with a mission to provide affordable, accessible and desirable travel for all.  Offering unbundled products and services, Flair has returned economic power to travellers by providing them the opportunity to choose how they want to fly.  Canada has one of the highest costs for air travel in the world and that's a problem Flair intends to fix.  Flair has caused significant passenger growth in Canada and fare reductions of up to 40% on the routes it serves.  Even passengers travelling on other airlines benefit from the competitive fares that appear only because Flair is in the market.

Nearly one million passengers traveled on Flair in 2019, with many more to do so in 2020.  To meet the rapidly growing demand for Flair's low fares, the airline is seeking expressions of interest from lessors with available Boeing 737 aircraft for delivery in early 2020.  For additional information, specification and details of the RFP, contact aircraft.rfp@flyflair.com 

About Flair Airlines
Flair Airlines has helped to pioneer ultra-low fare travel in Canada.  Since launching in 2017, Flair has increased its fleet, route network, and flight frequency in record time - now operating 120 flights per week across Canada.  To consistently offer affordable air travel to Canadians, Flair Airlines is focused on key airports and a network that supports seasonal demand. 

For more information, preferred specification and other details of the RFP, please email aircraft.rfp@flyflair.com 

Raelene Coffey
Flair Airlines
aircraft.rfp@flyflair.com

January 17, 2020
WestJet strengthens Atlantic gateway with new Halifax-Manchester service

Airline announces additional route connecting Eastern Canada to the United Kingdom

Calgary/CNW/—Today, WestJet is forging another connection across the Atlantic into the United Kingdom with the announcement of new non-stop service between Halifax, N.S., and Manchester U.K. beginning June 5, 2020. This summer, WestJet will operate more than 300 seasonal departures from Halifax to London (Gatwick) and Glasgow, Scotland.

"WestJet is continuing to invest in our Atlantic gateway, connecting Nova Scotia to the world and the world to Nova Scotia in new ways," said Charles Duncan, WestJet Chief Strategy Officer. "The U.K. is Nova Scotia's largest in-bound tourism market and our newest investment connects the province to new sources of tourists."

"WestJet's addition of another European connection strengthens the Atlantic Gateway and will help grow our economy. It will lead to more trade and investment opportunities, as well as help attract more students, immigrants, and visitors to Nova Scotia and the entire Atlantic region," said Premier Stephen McNeil.

Manchester Airport is considered the global gateway to northern England and offers easy access to and from its historic city centre.  With its evolved industrial heritage, the city is perfect for exploring thanks to its culture, love of football, restaurants and pubs. In addition, WestJet guests will have 16 more destinations to choose from out of Manchester on Virgin Connect, one of the largest regional carriers in Europe.

WestJet's seasonal service between Halifax Stanfield (YHZ) and Manchester Airport (MAN) will operate four-times weekly on the airline's Boeing 737-700. Flights are timed for convenient connectivity across WestJet's network into and out of Halifax.

WestJet has served Halifax since 2003 and has seen 300 per cent growth in flights to and from Halifax Stanfield and now serves 16 cities with an average of 60 daily inbound and outbound flights per day from Halifax.

Details of WestJet's service between Halifax and Manchester, U.K.:

WestJet is also proud to partner with Discover Halifax and Halifax International Airport Authority on its Stopover Halifax program. The program opens the door for arriving and connecting passengers at Halifax Stanfield to experience more of the city by booking it as a stopover from seven hours to seven days at no additional airfare.

"I applaud WestJet for opening new routes through Halifax to the United Kingdom," said Kody Blois, Member of Parliament, Kings-Hants. "This new seasonal service will help draw additional tourists to the province and further drive economic growth in the region. Stanfield International Airport itself is a major employer in our local community that will directly benefit from this significant investment by the airline.

"This exciting new direct flight to Manchester will further open the Halifax skies to tourists, business and more than a few soccer fans," said Mike Savage, Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality. "Whatever their ultimate travel destination, we welcome visitors arriving from Manchester to take full advantage of their time in Halifax and Nova Scotia."

"We're thrilled to add Manchester to a growing list of European cities connected by non-stop service at Halifax Stanfield," said Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority. "WestJet continues to be a great partner who supports the development of our East Coast Hub, providing more choice to our passengers. We look forward to welcoming the first visitors on this new service later this year with our unique Maritime hospitality."

"It's great to start 2020 with the news that WestJet will be commencing direct services to Manchester Airport from Halifax," said Julian Carr, Manchester Airport, Aviation Director. "We are delighted to have another North American route in our portfolio, giving our 29.5 million annual passengers more choice and connectivity to get across the Atlantic and beyond. Not only will this route provide the North of England direct access to a great city like Halifax, but the service will also open a host of other Canadian cities which we don't currently serve. It's another clear indication of the role we play in connecting the northern powerhouse to key international hubs."

"We are thrilled with the addition of the new route from Halifax to Manchester which will make it even easier for travellers to explore the North of England and beyond," said Paul Gauger, Senior Vice President The Americas, VisitBritain, the national tourism agency for Britain. "We hope that the new flights, along with our message of welcome and great value, inspires even more visitors from Canada to book a trip to Britain right now."

About WestJet 
Together with WestJet's regional airlines, WestJet Encore and WestJet Link, we offer scheduled service to more than 110 destinations in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe and to more than 250 destinations in over 20 countries through our airline partnerships. WestJet Vacations offers affordable, flexible vacations to more than 60 destinations and the choice of more than 800 hotels, resorts, condos and villas.  Members of the WestJet Rewards program earn WestJet dollars on flights, vacation packages and more. Members use WestJet dollars towards the purchase of flights and vacations packages to any WestJet destination with no blackout periods, and have access to Member Exclusive fares offering deals to WestJet destinations throughout our network and those of our partner airlines. 

WestJet is proud to be recognized for three consecutive years as Best Airline in Canada (2017-19) and awarded among travellers' favourite Mid-Sized Airlines in North America (2019). From 2017-2018, WestJet was also awarded among travellers' favourite Mid-Sized and Low-Cost Airlines in North America. The airline was also recognized among the Economy Class winners in North America, 2018. All awards are based on authentic reviews from the travelling public on TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site. We are one of very few airlines globally that does not commercially overbook. 

For more information about everything WestJet, please visit westjet.com

SOURCE WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership 

January 07, 2020
Atlific Managed Clarion Hotels & Suites Winnipeg completes renovations, unveils transformed space

Toronto, ON — Atlific Hotels is thrilled to announce that Winnipeg’s Clarion® Hotel & Suites has completed extensive renovations, offering improved functionality and updated design. Under the creative direction of Ocean Place Studios, the hotel’s lobby, bar/lounge and business centre invites guests to enjoy a completely new and modern aesthetic. Additionally, a 24-hour market was added offering access to food, sundries and other conveniences, while guestrooms and the hotel pool were refreshed. 

“We are so delighted with the new look and feel of the hotel as it has transformed to a sleek and welcoming space for business and leisure travellers alike,” said Harry Khaira, General Manager, Clarion® Hotel & Suites Winnipeg. “As we’re located close to corporate offices and directly across from CF Polo Park Shopping Mall, we’re looking forward to welcoming our guests to this newly renovated space, with convenient access to the best that Winnipeg has to offer.”

The hotel has undergone renovations in several stages over the past few years, with the final renovation of the lobby and bar/lounge recently completed. The spacious guestrooms, which are decorated in warm, rich tones and feature an electric fireplace, were renovated and refreshed just last year with a new bedding package of crisp, white linens. The pool area was updated. The lobby and lobby bar underwent a complete transformation including new flooring, wall coverings, fireplace, front desk pods, signage, seating, bar and lighting. 

Clarion® Hotel & Suites Winnipeg is home to nine versatile meeting and event spaces with space for up to 350 guests, the Urban Oasis Mineral Spa, a 24-hour fitness centre, an impressive market for snacks and beverages, and the largest indoor waterpark in Manitoba. Each guestroom is equipped with a fireplace, while guests can also select a room with a jacuzzi suite.

ABOUT ATLIFIC HOTELS
Atlific Hotels is one of the leading hotel management companies in Canada operating over 55 hotels with offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Atlific Hotels has 60 years of experience managing well-known Canadian hotels, resorts, and extended stay properties. The company has built a reputation for best in business accounting reporting, information technology solutions and support, exceptional sales, marketing and revenue management programs and sound operational systems. Atlific Hotels’ parent company, Ocean Properties Hotels Resorts & Affiliates operates 68 hotels throughout the United States. Together they manage over 120 properties in North America with over 19,400 rooms, which include independent hotels and resorts as well as internationally recognized hotel brands such as Marriott, Hilton, and IHG. For more information please visit www.atlific.com.

FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: 

Lindsay Silverberg or Rachel Mulligan
Aerial Communications Group
416.787.6577
lindsay@aerialpr.com
 / rachel@aerialpr.com   

January 06, 2020
Meetings Mean Business Canada Board Elects 2020 Board of Directors and Executive Team

Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC) is pleased to announce the election results for leadership positions on its 2020 Board of Directors.

Under the leadership of the 2019 Chair, Heidi Welker, MMBC accomplished all of its goals for the year.  “We had some very aggressive goals for 2019 including the development of a sustainable financial model, board representation across Canada, a communications plan that told our story, curation of unified data that sited our economic and social community significance, implementing a Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) Strategy that provided consistent and aligned messaging for the organizers of these events across Canada,  updating MMBC bylaws, and signing an agreement with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) with respect to sharing resources and incorporating a Meetings Mean Business focus within a variety of TIAC activities scheduled for 2020,” said Welker.

Under the leadership of the 2020 Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Welker stated, “MMBC is at a pivotal point and well positioned for the future.

Clark Grue, 2020 Chair will build on the positive momentum of MMBC. “Expanding the reach and impact of MMBC will be the focus of 2020.  Building on the strong relationship with TIAC, MMBC anticipates elevating the awareness of the impact of the meetings industry in Canada. Leveraging leaders in economic development, innovation ecosystems and Chambers of Commerce will be critical as we maximize the opportunity that meetings and conventions bring to Canada.”

Chair:
Clark Grue
President & CEO
Calgary TELUS Convention Centre

Vice Chair:
Laura Pallotta
Regional Vice President Sales and Distribution
Marriott Hotels of Canada

Treasurer:
Grant Snider
President & CEO
Meeting Escrow Inc.

Past Chair:
Heidi Welker
Senior Vice President Business Development & Industry Partnerships
Freeman Audio Visual Canada

Board of Directors
Scott Beck
President & CEO
Tourism Toronto

Marie-Lou Coupal
Past President
PCMA Canada East Chapter

Karen Goossen
Vice President
Tourism Winnipeg

Lorenz Hassenstein
President & CEO
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Miranda Ji
Vice President Sales
Victoria Conference Centre & Business Events Victoria

Robert Mercure
President & CEO
Montreal Convention Centre

Kathryn Mollenhauer
Manager Business Development, Meetings & Events
Air Canada

Christina Northcott
Vice President
MPI Toronto Chapter

Barry Smith
Executive Director
Convention Centres of Canada

Gabrielle Spanton
President
SITE Canada

Jennifer Spear
Director, Programming
CAPS

Debbie van der Beek
Co-Publisher
Ignite & Adrenalin

About Meetings Mean Business Canada
Meetings Mean Business is the single advocacy voice of the meetings industry in Canada. Our key focus is to communicate the importance of these business events to stakeholders across the country in order to promote investment to ensure our industry prospers. Through our relationship with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), we communicate the economic and social value of face-to-face meetings and business events to elected officials at all levels of government. This is intended to assist our leaders in government as they shape policy and legislation to grow the industry across Canada.

December 20, 2019
Alt Hotels concludes a $50-million transaction to continue its expansion

The Québec chain aims to develop new hotels in the coming years

Quebec City—Germain Hotels announced a new $50-million round of investment in ALT Canada Investment Partnership L.P. The round will enable the company to pursue its growth strategy for the Alt Hotels brand across Canada, namely by developing new hotels in the coming years.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec was the lead investor on the transaction, alongside a group of private and institutional investors that includes Investissement Québec, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, iA Financial Group and La Capitale. This is the third round of investment in the hotel chain and brings total investments in Alt Hotels to $210 million since 2011. This capital has paved the way for the brand's expansion from two hotels in Québec City and Brossard in 2008 to a Canada-wide chain operating or developing 12 locations from Calgary to St. John's.

Christiane and Jean-Yves Germain, Co-Presidents of Le Germain Hotels, said:

"We are pleased to be able to once again count on the support of our partners, some of whom have been with us since the very beginning of Germain Hotels in 1988. Building on the success of our boutique hotel concept, we are determined to pursue our growth across Canada in the years to come and continue serving clients whose expectations are increasing and are looking for unique experiences."

Charles Émond, la Caisse's Executive Vice-President, Québec, Private Equity and Strategic Planning, said:

"Since the creation of Alt Hotels, we have been supporting the expansion of this Québec-based leader, which is successfully navigating a rapidly changing industry where the quality of the guest experience and ability to innovate are key. This latest investment will allow the Alt brand to continue to grow and to add new hotels to the chain, whose success benefits our depositors and showcases Québec talent across Canada."

ABOUT ALT HOTELS
At Alt Hotels, we march to a different beat by giving guests the best of what they want without any extra fluff. Alt Hotels are located in Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Québec City, Montréal, Brossard, Halifax and St. John's, and soon at the Ottawa airport and University of Calgary. Alt Hotels. Stay unconventional.

ABOUT GERMAIN HOTELS
Germain Hotels is a Canadian family-run business that owns and operates Le Germain Hotels, Alt and Alt+ Hotels across Canada. Ranked as one of Canada's 50 best-managed companies, the business is known for its exceptional hospitality philosophy and the unique style that characterizes its hotels. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018, the 1,500-employee company has already reached its ambitious target of 20 hotels by 2020, and now aims to become the first independent hotel company to offer travellers a truly Canada-wide chain of hotels. Visit Germain Hotels.

ABOUT CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET PLACEMENT DU QUÉBEC
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at June 30, 2019, it held CAD 326.7 billion in net assets. As one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

SOURCE Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

For further information: FRANCE SAVARD, Senior Public Relations Coordinator, Germain Hotels, +1 514 954 0702, fsavard@groupegermain.com; MAXIME CHAGNON, Chief of Global Media Relations, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, +1 514 847 5493, mchagnon@cdpq.com

December 17, 2019
Destination Greater Victoria Looks Ahead to 2020

Victoria, B.C.—The Board of Directors of Destination Greater Victoria (DGV), the Capital Region’s official not-for-profit tourism marketing organization, is pleased to announce that they have renewed their employment agreement with Chief Executive Officer, Paul Nursey.

“Paul’s strengths include policy as well as strategy which has helped focus decision-making across the organization ensuring that we are a well-informed, nimble and fiscally responsible organization,” said Starr McMichael, Outgoing Chair of DGV Board, and President of Starboard Enterprises. “When you have a well-functioning organization, you create space for meaningful engagement with members and with partners across the region. You make room for healthy exploration of constructive disruption to the status quo and make space for important anticipation of issues and opportunities. Under the direction of the Board, Paul moved forward with reengineering the organizational structure of DGV to align tactical lines of business with key performance metrics which improved efficiencies, strengthened the organization’s accountability and transparency and made us much more agile and results-driven.   Speaking on behalf of the Board, I am very pleased that Paul will continue working with us. Paul and his team are the engine room for the visitor economy and they are also the responsible stewards of the region that we call home.  Striking this important balance is a priority for the Board.”

Paul joined the organization, then Tourism Victoria, in January 2014 bringing with him a breadth of proven national and global tourism policy and operations experience. Under the direction of the Board, and working in partnership across the region, province and country, Paul has been instrumental in the strategic evolution of DGV- repositioning the organization and growing the region’s tourism sector. Visitation has grown to approximately four million, and based on InterVISTAS’ 2018 report, Economic Impact of Tourism is Greater Victoria, Greater Victoria has a $2.3 billion tourism industry (in term of total economic output), contributes $1.2 billion to GDP, contributes $376 million in taxes, and supports 22,300 jobs.

Destination Greater Victoria is heading into 2020 with a strong and resilient foundation. “On day one, the Board challenged Paul to address the seasonality of tourism that has affected the sector for decades. We directed him to grow Victoria’s visitor economy by attracting high-yield visitors on a year-round basis,” explained Dave Cowen, Past Chair DGV, and CEO of The Butchart Gardens. “Paul’s vision, his strategies and tactics allowed us to mature as an organization and contribute in a more impactful way to the prosperity and wellbeing of Greater Victoria’s citizens and businesses.  Paul has great tourism insight and business instincts, and working with the Board, his team and community partners, Paul has realized DGV’s goals to increase member engagement and cultivate a strong and resilient all-season tourism sector.  Greater Victoria now enjoys multiple lines of tourism business that pull the entire sector in the same year-round direction.  DGV’s promotion and support of quality experiences along with their drive to attract high-value visitation in the off-season has bolstered vibrancy across the entire region. The knock-on effects of having a healthy visitor economy twelve months of the year means a consistent demand for local goods, services and experiences, and in this way, Tourism positively impacts the economy of the entire region.”

Paul Nursey, CEO Destination Greater Victoria:

“I appreciate the ongoing confidence of the Board and I am very much looking forward to working with my lean, talented team and building on the momentum of the past several years. Tourism in the region has a strong foundation heading into 2020. Local knowledge and quality, collaborative partnerships have been key success factors for me as CEO and I am grateful for the mentoring leadership I have received from Starr McMichael, Board Chair, and all of my seasoned Directors, each one a very accomplished and passionate tourism professional. Their proven wisdom and guidance have been valued and trusted constants in my days since assuming the position of CEO of Destination Greater Victoria in 2014.”

Read the full release and a backgrounder with year-end tourism numbers here.

Destination Greater Victoria (Greater Victoria Visitors and Convention Bureau) is our region’s official, not-for-profit destination marketing organization working in partnership with nearly 1,000 businesses and municipalities in Greater Victoria.  

December 13, 2019
Hudson Toronto Marks Latest Addition to sbe's The House of Originals Hotel Collection.

Torontosbe, the leading international hospitality group that develops, manages and operates award-winning brands, today announced it is bringing one of the hotel industry's most influential hotels, New York's iconic Hudson, to Toronto, Canada. Set to debut in 2024, the proposed 75,000 square foot project will be developed in partnership with Lamb Development Corp and IE Hospitality, featuring 146 rooms. Hudson Toronto will be a marquee addition to Toronto's bustling King West community, the city's vibrant entertainment and creative district. Surrounded by a lively art scene, glowing nightlife and buzzing entertainment venues, the hotel will feature an array of sbe's premium culinary and nightlife experiences, including a rooftop restaurant, a three-meal signature restaurant, expansive bar and café, among other features to be announced. 

"I am very proud to see the iconic Hudson Hotel take its legacy outside of New York in the cosmopolitan city of Toronto," said sbe Founder & CEO Sam Nazarian. "This marks the beginning of the Hudson brand's global expansion and continuation of its innovation and well-known fame. We couldn't be prouder to work with Lamb Development Corp and IE Hospitality, the most respected and well-known industry leaders, on this project and appreciate the trust they've put in sbe to bring one of the hospitality world's true originals to Toronto." 

"This development will continue to showcase Toronto as a world-class city, boasting some of the best hotels globally. The Hudson Toronto will undertake to attract more tourism, economic development and culinary expertise to Toronto's growing King West neighbourhood while also becoming a premiere destination for locals." said AJ Manji, Managing Director of IE Hospitality.

"This hotel is going to be fantastic. Architecturally it is stunning. It is a 146 room standalone hotel i.e., no condos, so we will be focused 100% on hotel guests. Our rooftop bar/restaurant overlooks the park and the skyline. It's going to be a hot ticket." said Brad J. Lamb, Founder of Lamb Development Corp.

Located at 445 Adelaide St West, the hotel will be in the heart of Toronto's King West community and immediately adjacent to St. Andrews Park. There are potential city plans to expand the park into a giant green space and urban playground for all ages. Known as a hotspot for wellness, food and entertainment, King West is attracting a range of urbanites, businesses and innovative commercial projects. 

The design team, for the Hudson Toronto features some of the biggest names in architecture and design, including award-winning, internationally recognized lead architect Peter Clewes, architects Alliance. 

Known for a deep commitment to city-building and sustainable growth that's evident in all his projects, Peter brings a unique, forward-looking perspective to shape the Hudson Toronto with a striking, culturally relevant design. 

Leading the interior design will be one of Canada's most preeminent and recognized design studios, The Design Agency. The internationally celebrated agency brings decades of experience and design excellence to the project, with more than 20 years of projects taking shape throughout 26 cities and nine countries. The agency is tasked with creating special interior environments through unique narratives. 

The Hudson is part of sbe's collection of luxury boutique hotels, the House of Originals, which consists of trailblazing properties that have set a standard for hospitality and experience that makes each hotel iconic in its own right. For every hotel in this collection, there is an undying spirit and promise of originality. Other House of Originals properties include the Sanderson and St. Martins Lane in London, 10 Karaköy in Istanbul, and the Shore Club in Miami Beach. 

The Hudson Toronto is an integral part of sbe's global expansion plan across all sbe hotel brands from SLS, Delano, The House of Originals, Mondrian and Hyde, in key global cities from Paris to Dubai and Buenos Aires to Mexico City, to mention a few.  

The project is subject to municipal approvals with hearings scheduled for Spring 2020. 

About sbe
Established in 2002 by Founder and CEO Sam Nazarian, sbe is a privately-held, leading lifestyle hospitality company that develops, manages and operates award-winning hotels, residences, restaurants and nightclubs. Through exclusive partnerships with cultural visionaries, sbe is devoted to creating extraordinary experiences throughout its proprietary brands with a commitment to authenticity, sophistication, mastery and innovation. Following the acquisition of Morgans Hotel Group, the pioneer of boutique lifestyle hotels, in partnership with Accor, sbe has an unparalleled global portfolio which will see 29 hotels and over 180 global world-renowned culinary, nightlife and entertainment venues by the end of 2019. The company is uniquely positioned to offer a complete lifestyle experience - from nightlife, food & beverage and entertainment to hotels and residences, and through its innovative customer loyalty and rewards program, The Code, as well as its award-winning international real estate development subsidiary, Dakota Development - all of which solidify sbe as the preeminent leader across hospitality. The company's established and upcoming hotel brands include SLS Hotel & Residences, Delano, Mondrian, The Redbury, HYDE Hotel & Residences, and The House of Originals. In addition, sbe has the following internationally acclaimed restaurants and lounges under subsidiary Disruptive Restaurant Group: Katsuya by Chef Katsuya Uechi, Umami Burger, Cleo, Fi'lia, Carna by Dario Cecchini, Leynia and Diez y Seis by Chef José Icardi, HYDE Lounge, S Bar, Doheny Room, Nightingale, Skybar, Bond, and Privilege.  To learn more, visit sbe.com

About Lamb Development Corp
Lamb Development Corp. (LDC) was founded in 2001 by Toronto's top condominium broker Brad J. Lamb to directly participate in the development of stylish, urban condominium projects. At that time, with over 13 years of experience in consulting, marketing, and the selling of more than 100 of Toronto's most innovative and exciting projects, Mr. Lamb wanted to bring something different to the development world. Since then, he has done just that; completing 19 developments, approximately 3400 suites for over $1.5B. Currently, Lamb Development Corp has three projects under construction, almost 800 suites for a value of $360 Million. Lamb Development Corp. is in design development on a further 15 projects in Torontoand the GTA with a value of $2.4 Billion. 

Lamb Development Corp. has become one of the country's busiest development companies, with each project pioneering up-and-coming locations and delivering a stylish, urban solution to each property. Completed projects in Toronto and Ottawaare some of the hippest, most contemporary buildings in those cities. Lamb Development Corp specializes in urban projects offering high design and spectacular architecture. 

About Impact Equity and IE Hospitality
IE Hospitality is the hospitality division of Impact Equity. Founded in 2015 Impact Equity, began with the vision to transform the landscape of communities in a long lasting impactful way through investing in commercial properties centered in and around Toronto's urban core. 

Their portfolio of world class, retail-oriented properties has been strategically acquired by investing in pre-construction, allowing for the hand in hand collaboration with Industry leading developers such as Lamb development Corp, along with architects, and engineers to create efficient, functional, and character driven spaces. 

IE Hospitality is new division developing lifestyle hotels, that are catered for the next generation of entrepreneurs and creative minds. 

The core values of IE hospitality revolve around delivering design forward concepts focused on service and delivering memorable guest experiences. 

To learn more, visit http://impactequity.ca

December 11, 2019
Pan Pacific Hotels Group Expands Footprint in North America With Latest Addition in Toronto

Singapore—Pan Pacific Hotels Group puts another footprint in North America with the rebranding of The Westin Prince Hotel to Pan Pacific Toronto.

Pan Pacific Toronto will be the fifth hotel for Pan Pacific Hotels Group in North America, joining other hotels in Vancouver, Whistler in British Columbia and Seattle.

Mr Choe Peng Sum, Chief Executive Officer, Pan Pacific Hotels Group, said, “We are delighted to fly the Pan Pacific flag in Toronto. As an international brand, Pan Pacific will bring to the hotel not only its guests from North America where we have four other hotels, we are also able to reach out to the Asia Pacific feeder markets where we have over 40 properties including Australia and China which are among the top five source markets into Canada1.”

“The hotel has a heritage of 45 years and is well-loved as a resort within the city with its 15 acres of parkland. It has been awarded consistently with the AAA Four Diamond, more times than any other hotel in Canada, and has just seen a CAD15 million renovation this year, which gave it a refreshed look with renovated guestrooms and public areas. It is timely that the hotel is now under the Pan Pacific brand, which also has two other AAA Four Diamond hotels in Vancouver and Seattle. In addition, the hotel is now accessible to 15.6 million of its loyal guests from the world over through its Pan Pacific DISCOVERY programme,” commented Ms Maggie Zhang, Vice President of the owning company, 2465855 Ontario Ltd.

Located in North East Toronto, Pan Pacific Toronto is a well-known landmark to residents in the prestigious neighbourhood it calls home, with a warm and welcoming air throughout the 15 acres of scenic parkland it is nestled in. Magnificently tranquil, the hotel offers 409 generously-sized guest rooms and suites, with many overlooking the lush greenery surrounding the hotel and the cityscape beyond.

Pan Pacific Toronto is close to the vibrancy of Toronto downtown while just a 30-minute drive from Toronto Pearson International Airport. Three of Toronto’s largest malls – Yorkdale Mall, Scarborough Town Center and Fairview Mall – as well as the world-class Ontario Science Centre, are a 15-min drive from the hotel. Within half an hour’s drive from the hotel are Canada’s largest zoo and theme park— the Toronto Zoo and Canada’s Wonderland.

The hotel is known for its restaurants, especially Katsura, one of Toronto’s most respected Japanese restaurants with a sushi bar, traditional teppanyaki cooking tables, and private tatami rooms. The restaurant serves up the finest fish and seafood, expertly prepared by its in-house chefs in an elegant ambience. Seasons, its all-day dining restaurant, invites diners to nourish their soul in a bright and airy setting overlooking the wooded gardens.

Pan Pacific Toronto has 30,000 square feet of versatile meeting spaces including 18 meeting rooms and a ballroom which can hold up to 700 guests. Most of the meeting rooms have windows and natural light, making it a desirable venue for many. Events are also possible on the greens.

For relaxation, there are various options including an outdoor heated pool, walking paths, a tennis court and a fitness center with a whirlpool.

Media Contact
Cuili NG
Director, Brand & Corporate Communications

Pan Pacific Hotels Group

Mobile: +65 9634 4425
Email: ng.cuili@pphg.com

About Pan Pacific Hotels Group
Pan Pacific Hotels Group is a member of Singapore-listed UOL Group Limited, one of Asia’s most established hotel and property companies with an outstanding portfolio of investment and development properties.

Based in Singapore, Pan Pacific Hotels Group owns and/or manages nearly 50 hotels, resorts and serviced suites including those under development in 29 cities across Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe.

Voted “Best Regional Hotel Chain” by readers in Asia-Pacific from 2017 to 2019, Pan Pacific Hotels Group comprises two acclaimed brands: its signature brand, Pan Pacific and its deluxe brand, PARKROYAL.

Sincerity is the hallmark of Pan Pacific Hotels Group. The Group is known to its guests, partners, associates and owners for its sincerity in people and the sense of confidence which alleviates the stresses of today’s complex world. Visit us at www.panpacific.com.

Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts
With hotels, resorts and serviced suites across Asia, Oceania and North America, Pan Pacific provides a safe harbour in an ever-changing world. Places with less to worry about because, when you stay with us, rest assured that all will be taken care of. For this is where you will find your balance.

About Global Hotel Alliance
Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) is the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, bringing together more than 30 brands with over 550 hotels in 78 countries. GHA uses a shared technology platform to drive incremental revenues and create cost savings for its member brands. GHA’s award-winning loyalty programme, DISCOVERY, provides 15 million members exclusive opportunities to immerse themselves in local culture wherever they travel. For more information, visit www.globalhotelalliance.com. 

1https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/190827/dq190827a-eng.htm